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6 July 2000 Edition

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More chopper harassment

Just one week after a British Army helicopter crash landed in South Armagh, stirring local anger, two aircraft landed in a residential area of Crossmaglen.

Residents of the border village were incensed that the helicopters landed on a green area 100 yards from the heavily fortified crown forces base close to homes in the Lismore estate.

During the incident on Friday, 30 June, two helicopters landed near to about 20 houses and that the down blast from the rotor blades blew garden furniture, clothes and a bouncy castle away.

``Children playing nearby were thrown into a panic by the noise of the blades,'' said Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy.

Murphy went on to rubbish claims made by the British Army that the helicopters had come down to check out a suspicious car, saying that flights by low flying aircraft had increased recently and that the British Army activity was following a pattern.

On Saturday, 24 June, a British Army Lynx helicopter crashed landed at Corliss, two miles from crossmaglen. That was the third incident of threatening helicopter activity in the South Armagh area that week.
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